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Viewing cable 09TELAVIV1060, REP. WEXLER DISCUSSES IRAN WITH IDF INTELLIGENCE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TELAVIV1060 2009-05-13 12:12 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET Embassy Tel Aviv
VZCZCXRO3194
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTV #1060 1331220
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 131220Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1790
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T TEL AVIV 001060 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/13/2019 
TAGS: PREL MPOS KNNP IR IS
SUBJECT: REP. WEXLER DISCUSSES IRAN WITH IDF INTELLIGENCE 
CHIEF YADLIN 
 
Classified By: DCM Luis G, Moreno, Reason 1.4 (b) (d) 
 
1.  (S)  Representative Robert Wexler (D, Florida), 
accompanied by Deputy Chief of Staff Joshua Rogin and DCM 
Moreno, met with Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Chief, MG 
Amos Yadlin, on Sunday 10 May 2009.  MG Yadlin focused his 
discussion on the preparations for the upcoming visit of 
Prime Minister Netanyahu to the United States and the Iranian 
nuclear program.  MG Yadlin informed Rep. Wexler that the PM 
was preparing intensely for his upcoming visit to Washington. 
 In addition to hours of policy review, the PM had been 
provided significant amounts of intelligence from the IDI and 
Mossad on Iran's nuclear program.  The intelligence presented 
included assessments of the current status of the Iranian 
program; timelines, effects of sanctions; views of the 
international community; and outcomes of engagement.  The 
differences that exist between the intelligence community in 
interpretations of the Iranian nuclear program as well as the 
relationship between Iran and the Palestinians were also 
presented.  MG Yadlin indicated that the IDF had presented 
its information last week, leaving the cabinet on Friday 08 
May 2009 to consider policy options and how information will 
be presented during the upcoming visit to Washington. 
Although no direct feedback was provided, MG Yadlin opined 
that the PM appears determined on Iran. 
 
2.  (S)  Rep. Wexler asked MG Yadlin to expand on the 
differences in the interpretations of the intelligence.  MG 
Yadlin explained that until 2003, Iran had violated the 
Nuclear Proliferation Treaty by having a weaponization group 
and although Iran could show civilian uses for a missile 
program and a fissile program, there was no justification for 
a weaponization group.  He went on to say that Iran halted 
its program in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq, but 
reinvigorated the program in 2005.  He expressed that some in 
the US agree with this and others do not.  He went on to 
explain that Israel is not in a position to underestimate 
Iran and be surprised like the US was on 11 September 2001. 
 
3.  (S)  MG Yadlin explained that Israel tries to be more 
precise than the US in estimating Iran's intentions and 
timeline for obtaining a nuclear bomb.  Iran is in the 
position of wanting to pay only a minimum cost for its 
current program. It does not want to be North Korea or what 
Iraq was before 2003.  Iran intends to keep resolutions and 
sanctions at a certain manageable level and continue to 
produce low enriched uranium until there is enough for 
several bombs.  MG Yadlin stated that Iran could decide to 
produce a bomb by 2010, but Iran is waiting for the right 
time in the future and that there are some who will always 
doubt it despite the evidence. 
 
4.  (S)  Rep. Wexler then asked about the prospect of 
engagement.  MG Yadlin said he does not oppose engagement, 
and in fact gave a speech approximately six months ago 
expressing that Israel needed to find a way to find positives 
in engagement.   He feels there needs to be an agreed upon 
deadline; a measure for success or failure; and a plan B if 
engagement does not work in order for engagement to have any 
chance.  He also expressed strongly that engagement should 
have already started.  MG Yadlin outlined four possible 
outcomes of engagement.  Two good outcomes would be the 
Iranian nuclear program stopped or a failure of engagement 
that allows Russia and China to see the US made all efforts 
to prevent the program diplomatically and allows for greater 
cooperation in the future.  Two bad outcomes would be Iran 
playing for time with no claim of failure on the part of 
engagement or a bad bargain that still allows Iran to obtain 
a nuclear bomb even if in a longer timeline.  Rep. Wexler 
went on to discuss that there is a third good option in that 
the President may have better leverage with the American 
public to support action if engagement efforts are attempted 
and failed.  Rep Wexler recommended that the Israeli people 
need to consider the US perspective and public opinion.  MG 
Yadlin responded that he is not recommending the US enter a 
third front, but it has to be understood that Israel sees 
things differently and that Israel has to be ready and can 
not remove the military option from the table.  Rep Wexler 
stated that he expected Israel would be pleasantly surprised 
by the President's acceptance of all possible options in 
regards to Iran. 
 
********************************************* ******************** 
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv 
********************************************* ******************** 
CUNNINGHAM